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SJR-16 Calexico West Port of Entry.(2011-2012)

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SJR16:v97#DOCUMENT

Senate Joint Resolution No. 16
CHAPTER 124

Relative to the Calexico West Port of Entry.

[ Approved by Governor  September 10, 2012. Filed with Secretary of State  September 10, 2012. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SJR 16, Vargas. Calexico West Port of Entry.
This measure would state that the Legislature declares its support for a private-public partnership to renovate and expand the Calexico West Port of Entry. This measure would also urge Congress to enact guiding legislation to authorize private-public partnerships such as the one proposed for the expansion of the Calexico West Port of Entry.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, The Calexico West Port of Entry is located in downtown Calexico and currently consists of approximately 102,040 square feet of improvements; and
WHEREAS, Federal agencies have considered the need to renovate and expand this facility for many years, having evaluated and planned to move portions of the border entry process approximately three blocks west and expand its operation for pedestrians, automobiles, and, to a lesser extent, some commercial vehicles; and
WHEREAS, Planning began in 2005, and millions of dollars have been spent planning the new facility. However, due to the current fiscal situation facing the federal government, as well as local governments nationwide and especially in California, public financing sources are difficult to identify, and it appears that the financing and construction of this much-needed project may be delayed, not only this year, but perhaps for many years; and
WHEREAS, The delay in the construction creates national security issues and long waiting times for travelers both entering and exiting the United States to and from Mexico. The long waiting times cause health and safety concerns for all travelers, especially during the extreme heat of summer. The delay also exacerbates environmental issues and economic inefficiencies from the use of the existing facility, which is decades old. It is estimated that the costs of the inefficiencies are well in excess of $500,000,000 per year to the region; and
WHEREAS, Imperial County and the region have extremely high levels of unemployment, estimated to be at least 25 percent. These communities are still affected by the losses caused by the 2010 Easter earthquake. The renovation project is estimated to cost $320,000,000 and take 24 months to complete. The project will create approximately 6,000 jobs, mostly from regional sources; and
WHEREAS, Many federal agencies, including those within the umbrella of the United States Department of Homeland Security, have procured infrastructure and other capital improvements through the utilization of private capital markets for financing and construction activities. Discussions are currently being held to potentially formulate a proposal of a joint venture with private parties to finance, construct, and lease the proposed renovation and expansion of the Calexico West Port of Entry. The arrangements are contingent upon Congress providing guiding legislation to implement the plan; and
WHEREAS, A private-public partnership is necessary to renovate and expand the Calexico West Port of Entry in a more timely manner, create jobs in Imperial County and the surrounding region, and provide for the economic and environmental benefits of the proposed project; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and the Assembly of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature declares its support for a private-public partnership to renovate and expand the Calexico West Port of Entry; and be it further
Resolved, The Legislature urges the Congress of the United States to enact guiding legislation to authorize private-public partnerships such as the one proposed for the expansion of the Calexico West Port of Entry; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States and to the author for appropriate distribution.